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11-05-2018, 05:48 PM   #1
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How long does a dedicated film scanner last?

I've been thinking to upgrade my Epson v370, or at least get a higher resolution scanner for images I want to print at 11x14" or so and not just post online. My epson is okay for 5x7" but I would be hesitant to go much larger. Only interested in 35mm, no plans for larger formats. I ordered one that for an older version had good reviews on filmscanner.info. Installed software just fine, then mechanically it had an issue (wouldn't move arm, stuck in calibration stage) and I got a refund. So far so good, accidents happen and I'm not going to extrapolate from this for future orders.


But it got me thinking, how long (years, number of rolls) should I expect a mid-range scanner (around $3-400) to last? Any longer term (2-3 years and over) users of pacific image (aka reflecta) or plustek scanners?

11-05-2018, 06:09 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Until the next version of Windows is rolled out and the scanner software and drivers become obsolete?

Sadly this is not so much a joke; in reality this has often been the case...

Chris
11-05-2018, 06:18 PM - 1 Like   #3
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I can only speak about my experience with a used Konica Minolta film scanner. It was used an unknown number of times before I bought it, but I've run several thousand negatives through it and it still works fine.
11-05-2018, 08:21 PM - 1 Like   #4
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My Minolta Dimage Scan Elite F-2900 has a SCSI interface, if you are old enough to know what that is. It was already out of date when I bought it at a discount in 2002.

As for lack of drivers compatable with newer operating systems, see VueScan by Hamrick software <link here>

Thanks to VueScan and a SCSI-to-Firewire adapter, I used my 16 year old film scanner just a few weeks ago; works as good as it ever did.

VueScan supports many/most scanners, but I would not buy any older scanner without first checking to be sure it's supported by VueScan in case you need it.

11-05-2018, 08:45 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by aaacb Quote
But it got me thinking, how long (years, number of rolls) should I expect a mid-range scanner (around $3-400) to last? Any longer term (2-3 years and over) users of pacific image (aka reflecta) or plustek scanners?
I purchased a Plustek Pro Optic 120 this year to replace a 13 year old Minolta Dimage Scan Multi Pro that still works fine. I've been waiting for 13 years for the fluorescent tube to fail as everyone has told me that LEDs are much more reliable. But 13 years and it still works fine.

So why did I buy a replacement? Fear that my current cables from the Minolta to the iMac will soon get to ludicrous dongle adapters. Currently it's Firewire 4 pin to Firewire 8 pin to Thunderbolt 1 to USB-C (Thunderbolt 3). VueScan has kept the Minolta viable, so it'll be interesting to go back to SilverFast on the new Plustek.

Last edited by Alex645; 11-07-2018 at 10:50 AM.
11-06-2018, 12:57 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
Until the next version of Windows is rolled out and the scanner software and drivers become obsolete?

Sadly this is not so much a joke; in reality this has often been the case...

Chris
Unfortunately this is true.

I've been eyeing up some Plustek scanners to upgrade from my V500 but all the ones I've seen for sale used are only compatible with older versions of Windows or paying through the nose for third-party software.

DSLR scanning is slowly getting easier and the first software tools for doing it are starting to appear but my guess would be that this will be much more feasible in a couple of years. TBH I'd hold on until then and then switch to DSLR scanning.
11-06-2018, 09:00 AM - 2 Likes   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
DSLR scanning is slowly getting easier and the first software tools for doing it are starting to appear but my guess would be that this will be much more feasible in a couple of years. TBH I'd hold on until then and then switch to DSLR scanning.
'DSLR scanning' is fiction. With a DSLR you make an exact photo of the media, exactly copying everything, including every scratch or fungus spot. This might be OK for new media, but a true 'scanner', which normally has built means of dealing media issues, normally will give you a better representation of the media's contents.

I have chosen to maintain an old computer specifically for scanning so I don't have to worry about the software issue. My Plustek scanner still works six years after I got it.
11-06-2018, 03:51 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
I purchased a Plustek Pro Optic 120 this year to replace a 13 year old Minolta Dimage Scan Multi Pro that still works fine. I've been waiting for 13 years for the fluorescent tube to fail as everyone has told me that LEDs are much more reliable. But 13 years and it still works fine.

So why did I buy a replacement? Fear that my current cables from the Minolta to the iMac will soon get to ludicrous dongle adapters. Currently it's Firewire 4 pin to Firewire 8 pin to Thunderbolt to Lightning. VueScan has kept the Minolta viable, so it'll be interesting to go back to SilverFast on the new Plustek.
Good point about the cables. I use the same convoluted system of wires and adaptors to connect my 18 year old Minolta film scanner to my 7 year old iMac. If I upgrade to a more recent Mac lacking Firewire, it may not be possible to connect the SCSI device to USB3 / Thunderbolt ?

11-06-2018, 06:06 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by runswithsizzers Quote
If I upgrade to a more recent Mac lacking Firewire, it may not be possible to connect the SCSI device to USB3 / Thunderbolt ?
It currently is still possible with two USB-C (Thunderbolt 3) ports on the back of the new iMacs. But I'm running a cable from Minolta scanner's Firewire 4 port and not the SCSI.
11-06-2018, 06:19 PM   #10
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Vuescan may be the usual workaround to the obsolete OS and drivers issue,
however not everyone wants to use and be tied to Vuescan.

Chris
11-06-2018, 08:10 PM - 2 Likes   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by runswithsizzers Quote
My Minolta Dimage Scan Elite F-2900 has a SCSI interface, if you are old enough to know what that is. It was already out of date when I bought it at a discount in 2002.
I haven't heard of the SCSI interface in YEARS.
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